Municipal motorcycle school project moves forward in Argentina

Starting in 2019, we will be involved in road safety work for motorcyclists thanks to the support of the UPS Foundation. Because in Argentina, as in our countries in the region, motorcyclists are the vulnerable actors most affected by traffic. Our obligation as a civil society organization is to contribute with governments to generate tools that reach those motorcyclists to save those lives. And thus generate an environment of natural growth in the cities. At the beginning of that year we launched the first stage with the theoretical certification of the License Issuing Centers. These trainings continued on a face-to-face basis during 2020. But with the COVID pandemic we had to generate alternative solutions, working online in our training platform FGR Campus. Through this we were able to continue working during 2020 and 2021, generating certificates in the theoretical area and starting the work to promote skills in those who are working in the practical area. The main objective was to, among all of us, improve the processes so that those aspiring to the motorcycle driver's license would have the best possible tools.

During this time of joint work, 528 people from more than 200 municipalities have been trained in motorcyclist safety. This represents an impact, through the trained trainers, in more than 400,000 licenses issued in the period 2019-2021. In addition, more than 60 cities managed to readapt their theoretical-practical contents on the way to training motorcyclists.
For this 2022, and with the support of the UPS Foundation as a strategic partner, we are developing a continuation project, which contemplates that driving a motorcycle requires technical skills, for which new drivers need to be trained. In this sense, the project proposes the creation of municipal motorcycle driving academies in northern Argentina.

In an open call to the different municipalities of the country, the first step was to find out which areas would be interested in participating in the proposal. In order to select the municipalities to work with, we took into account the number of available instructors for the motorcycle school; the availability of suitable premises; the participation in previous training courses given by the Fundación Gonzalo Rodríguez in coordination with the National Road Safety Agency from the Licenses and Motorcyclists' Safety area; the number of licenses granted by the municipality; and the strong commitment of the government to work together to generate the necessary conditions for each municipality to advance in the training and implementation of a municipal motorcycle school.
We had an excellent response to the call for proposals for the 2022 municipal motorcycle schools project, with more than 140 municipalities applying.

And, applying the criteria defined jointly with the national authorities, the following municipalities were selected in a first phase: San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca (Catamarca), Cerrito (Entre Ríos), Ramallo (Buenos Aires), Los Altos (Catamarca), San Javier (Santa Fe), La Rioja (La Rioja), Exaltación de la Cruz (Buenos Aires), Partido de la Costa (Buenos Aires), La Merced (Salta), Guaymallén (Mendoza), Villa María (Córdoba), Baradero (Buenos Aires) and Las Talitas (Tucumán).

The second phase of the project begins with the generation of experiences and success stories in different parts of the country, as well as the definition of criteria for the assignment of indicators that will allow in the medium term to understand the impact of these strategies in the territory.

"This project is the logical continuation of what we have worked on with the Fundación Gonzalo Rodríguez up to now: that motorcyclists have a place to be trained, with trained professionals. These motorcycle schools will be an example for others to join later on," assured Yuyo Rubino, head of the Motorcycle Safety area of Argentina's National Road Safety Agency.

"For us it is very important this instance where it is communicated how we are going to start this 2022 phase of the motorcycle schools project. Fundación Gonzalo Rodríguez collaborates with the national and sub-national governments to have safe mobility in different parts of the country. From our role as civil society, what we aspire to do is to provide the tools for municipalities to make a difference in the territory", commented María José Pessano, Executive Director of the Fundación Gonzalo Rodríguez.

"75% of the last disability certificates we have granted in the province of Tucumán are the result of traffic accidents in which motorcycles are involved. Taking this into account, as mayor we have made the political decision to invest and create the right environment to change our reality. This problem must first be made visible, put on the agenda, and then take the necessary measures to avoid having deaths or serious injuries caused by traffic accidents" stated Carlos Najar, Mayor of La Talitas, province of Tucumán.

From now on, a new stage begins, where work will be done on the coordination of preliminary meetings with each selected municipality (authorities and instructors), the preparation of the agenda and the work in each of the municipalities.

To close the year, a Seminar on Motorcyclist Safety is planned, which will put the vulnerability of motorcyclists on the agenda and generate work commitments in all national decision-makers interested in the subject.

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